Instructional Tip by Derek Hooper, Director of Instruction at Lake of Isles Golf Academy.
Effective Practice – On Course
To become the best player you can be you will need to spend some time practicing on the course, what you have improved on the range. It is possible to simulate many on course situations on the range but nothing will build confidence like executing good shots on the golf course.
I see too many players that treat their practice time on the course as an opportunity to simply wander around the course hitting shots with no specific purpose. There is a time when we all should simply go out and play for pure enjoyment, having a few laughs with friends and maybe even a few beverages. But if you are serious about getting better at this game, there must be time spent on the course focusing on improving your game.
Good golf is not necessarily exciting golf. Good golf is about being steady, repeatedly making smart decisions and backing up those decisions with solid shots. I have even heard players call it boring golf to watch someone hit every fairway, followed by every green and then two putt for par. I have met other players who would love nothing more than to play “boring golf”.
Whether you describe steady golf as boring or not, it is this style of play that will allow you to shoot lower scores and win a few bets from your playing partners. This style of play leads you away from the big numbers that can ruin your round, and allows you to work steadily towards a lower score.
A great game to play that encourages this steady style of play is Points. I have used this with many players, and all have seen it’s value in that it forces you to focus only on the shot you are about to play. As points are awarded based on the result of each shot, it gets you away from score and invites you focus on every single shot right up until the ball finishes in the hole.
Points are awarded as follows:
1 point for – Fairway hit from the tee, fairway hit with second shot on a par 5, green hit, for making a par and for an up and down regardless of what it’s for.
2 points for – Birdies and a chip in.
4 points for - Eagles
Minus 2 points for – Bogeys and three putts
Minus 4 points for – Double bogey
Minus 5 points for –Triple bogey or worse
If you believe that bogey is a good score for you or that birdies are difficult to make on your home course, you may adjust the scoring accordingly. The key is to record you score each time you play and try to improve upon it the next time you tee it up.
Derek Hooper is the Director of Instruction at Lake of Isles Golf Academy. Derek has a college degree in teaching and over 14 years experience conducting lesson programs in Australia, Japan and Taiwan. Before moving to the United Sates Derek was the Director of Instruction at the David Duval Golf Academy in Miyazaki, Japan. Derek can be contacted at 1.888.475.3746 or firstname.lastname@example.org